Art and Photography

What's with RFD's obsession with prime lenses?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 17th, 2012 11:01 am
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Apr 11, 2011
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I carry a 35L, 50 1.4, 85L, and a 135L to weddings.

For fun I'll slap on a fisheye to get a wide shot of the venue if needs be.

Do I wish I had 1 or 2 zooms? Rarely.

I like the fact that I can get as wide open as I want with primes since zooms can never get below higher than 2.8.

And oh, for the record - 90% of lens threads on RFD is all about, oh what's the cheapest for this and that? To that I say, photography isn't cheap - both time and money. In that order. Improve yourself first before improving your gear because, by improving yourself you learn to konw what you are doing wrong and learn the limitations of your gear. The rest comes later. ;)
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Feb 10, 2007
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jimmy-j wrote:
Aug 7th, 2012 1:00 pm
the problem is, a camera phone or p&s does not match the speed of a dslr. sometimes moments come and go quickly and before a p&s or phone is on, ready and focused, that moment is gone - even if you're prepared and the camera is on, you still have to half-shutter to focus and that takes ages. with a dslr, half-press the shutter and camera is on in less than 1 sec. af-on to focus and you've got the shot in seconds.
Years ago I would agree but the new compacts and point and shoots are pretty snappy...
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Feb 28, 2008
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Very good point about photography being an art form it absolutely is.
Aggy wrote:
Aug 6th, 2012 8:11 am
+1

You can't use the analogy of older vs. newer processors as well. Primes don't mean older tech...what about Canon's new 40mm pancake?

Also, photography is an art...you don't tell someone they should be using crayons, spraypaint or whatever. Art is an interpretation of the artist...it doesn't matter the tools they use.
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Dec 17, 2006
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jimmy-j wrote:
Aug 7th, 2012 1:03 pm
why?
If someone wants to just take pictures of their families and pets without "the artistic angle" and they are instead just firing away with auto mode, I think they are better off with a P&S because they are small, light and can be carried around everywhere in your pocket/bag. Also the image quality on P&S camera's has greatly improved over the years and produce great results.

Look at this post for example: post-latest-picture-you-have-taken-7268 ... st15153180
I take pictures of stuff ; flickr
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Aug 12, 2008
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i disagree. you don't have to be artistic or anything to be able to use a dslr. you're right. using a dslr on auto mode exclusively is a shame, it still is a major speed, iq and quality improvement over any p&s out there. you'd be hard pressed to find a compact that can match those qualities.

without going to something like a m4/3 system, you really can't compare the two.

that's not to say you can't be creative and take fantastic poster prints with a p&s, because you can. also, i am willing to bet that there are folks who have tons of creative drive and can shoot more appealing photographs than 90% of dslr owners out there. who do you think the canon rebel and low-end nikon dslr are marketed for?

also - everyone is a beginner at some point. doesn't matter if you started with a canon ae-1 program and 50 1.8 (like me) or a rebel xt. you shoot, learn and progress if photography is your interest.

...anyways my point. you don't have to have any artistic abilities or intention to be able to shoot with a dslr and shooting in auto is merely a starting point.

and to stay on topic: primes are worth every penny if you can afford one. and for any canon owner looking for one, you simply cannot go wrong with the 50 1.8.
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jimmy-j wrote:
Aug 7th, 2012 7:59 pm
i disagree. you don't have to be artistic or anything to be able to use a dslr. you're right. using a dslr on auto mode exclusively is a shame, it still is a major speed, iq and quality improvement over any p&s out there. you'd be hard pressed to find a compact that can match those qualities.
I think what we mean is there are many more chances of failure using a dslr rather than a point and shoot. If the person wants to learn then its a whole different story, the mistakes are a good thing. How many times I've had people ask me how come their photos suck and don't look as good as their point and shoot photos. I look at the camera and they have it stuck in ai servo in p mode (because thats what people said they should use instead of auto) with it set to f16 causing the shutter to be stupid slow. They know nothing of this an no idea how to change it back to "auto"
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ryan_lau100 wrote:
Aug 7th, 2012 10:08 pm
I think what we mean is there are many more chances of failure using a dslr rather than a point and shoot. If the person wants to learn then its a whole different story, the mistakes are a good thing. How many times I've had people ask me how come their photos suck and don't look as good as their point and shoot photos. I look at the camera and they have it stuck in ai servo in p mode (because thats what people said they should use instead of auto) with it set to f16 causing the shutter to be stupid slow. They know nothing of this an no idea how to change it back to "auto"
those problems exist also on p&s cameras. i've seen many times people accidentally disable the flash or set their cameras on "more pictures mode" without even knowing it's drastically dropping the quality of the shot. hell, i've even seen people incorrectly using the iphone camera and wondering why all shots are crappy.
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Jul 16, 2003
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I don't know how you can take pictures of your kids and lets with a 18-55 lol.. Need that fast prime to chase them down and the fps on the 50d is great for this too lol

I've got a sigma 30, 10-22 wide, 8mm fish and 50-150 as well.. The 30mm gets the most burn by far
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Jun 29, 2009
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It's not prime lenses that photo communities are "obsessed" with, it's "cheap, fast lenses".
My 50mm f1.8 is collecting dust only because got myself an 85mm f1.8 & 17-50 f2.8, but both are roughly $400, where the 50mm is around $100. If a fast zoom can be had at around <$200, I'm sure that's what everybody will be suggesting to photo newbs.

Let's say someone posted "I got a 7D + 24-70 f2.8 as a gift, what other gears do I need?" I'm fairly sure nobody will be suggesting a 50mm f1.8 to this poster.
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Jan 19th, 2012 8:09 pm
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it's the value you get for the 50 1.8. not because of any other reason. for $100, a 50mm f1.8 lens (a photographer's staple lens) and outstanding optical quality. canon specifically. the downside is the terrible build.. plasticky and cheap feeling with plastic mount.

you can't get that with a nikon unfortunately. the nikon equivalent is much more expensive but the build quality is much better.

again, your 17-50 f2.8... you get very good quality glass for a lot less than the canon equivalent. also, the tamron is a much smaller package and includes a lens hood which the 17-55 canon doesn't. downside, you lose usm and get a transformers sound during AF-ON but you're paying half the price.


also if someone got a 7d with a 24-70 f2.8L, i'm not sure people would stills ay get a 50 1.8 .. you have the focal length covered with usm too ...and the low light advantage the 50 has can be dealt with by bumping the iso and post processing the noise. i'd say go with a 10-22 or tokie 11-16.
Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2005
969 posts
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This is RFD. We're all compulsive purchasers! What's the fun in getting one lens to cover majority of the focal lengths like a 24-70 when you can buy a 24 1.4, 35 1.4, 50 1.4, 85 1.4 :cheesygri
And it's obviously boring to only own 1 camera since most prime users don't like changing lenses!

Next question, please!

[IMG]http://www.nikkophotography.com/rfd/nikongear.jpg[/IMG]
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lol@nikko ;P
Wedding & Child Photographer ~ happily photographing
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Jul 11, 2012
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most of the time i shoot in pretty dark environments . and really prime lenses are the only choice. My zooms are collecting dust actually

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